Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day -003: The French Press

img_20151228_082626-01.jpegEmily's cousins gifted me with a French press for my birthday. It was a deluxe model from one of the upscale coffee shops (and you can probably guess which one.) We gave it a try this morning, and -- oh, boy! -- was the coffee good! We used the Artisans Premium Blend beans I got last month. They also gave me a bag of beans from the same upscale coffee shop, but that will have to wait till tomorrow.

Coffee is one of the hobbies that I accidentally stumbled onto this year. Emily and I had been given a coffee maker for our wedding, but that had stayed in storage all these past years. This year, we finally decided to bring it out. We started with ground coffee from the grocery, and for several months, it was all good. Then I paid a visit to the Jesuit residence and got a taste of the coffee from their espresso machine. From then on, I'd been dreaming of going up one step higher, that is, grinding my own beans. I finally gave in and bought a grinder from Lazada.

Grinding opened up a whole new dimension. All of a sudden, we had so many more choices for coffee. My staple is Monk's Blend, but I've tried some of the artisanal coffee from Mindanao growers, as well as from Benguet. In retrospect, it's not that expensive a hobby. A 500g bag lasts us two months, and assuming P400 per bag, that's only P200 per month. That's just about how much I would be spending if I were to drink 3-in-1 coffee every day for a month!

Hmmm, that's actually a variation of Terry Pratchett's Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socio-economic unfairness.

En otros acontecimientos: las negociaciones fueron muy bien. El nuevo año trae buenas nuevas, gracias a Dios. Yo espero.

Reading



Today I started on Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, his memoir of his time in Paris. I've had the book for quite some time but I couldn't get into it. It turns out that I was reading it wrong. Feast, like most of Hemingway's work, has to be read in a quiet place, like in a cafe or in a cozy corner of the house. It can't be read in a rush, as if only for information. It has to be read slowly, and savored.

I might take some time with this one.

Learning



On the drive back, I listened to the In Our Time episode on Circadian Rhythms. Very good discussion of how our body clocks are regulated. Not just us, actually, but animals and plants as well. Many health issues can be traced to disruption of the circadian rhythms, which naturally raises concerns about people who work in shifts. This is good fodder for health research.

More Chinese work today.